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Chinese Restaurants

An interesting article regarding the Chinese restaurant & takeaway in Condobolin in rural NSW.

There are a number of suburban Chinese reataurants in Cairns which opened in the 1970’s which are still going strong.

One of the few that did close would always remember our name when we phoned a takeaeay order and respond “Ah XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXX, long time no see” and would always fill the containers to the point that they had to cover them with cling film as the lids could not be fitted.

The first time we stayed overnight in St George in SW Qld, we bought takeaway from the local Chinese & Asian restaurant.

A year later, we stayed there again and went to the restaurant and the lady said “Good to see you come back again”.



Another article regarding Chinese restaurants in Australia.

A former business associate used to relate the story of when he would stay at a hotel in Singapore decades ago when on leave from working offshore.

The Chinese receptionist asked him to pick up a takeaway Chinese meal for her.

When she tasted it, she did not like it as it was way too sweet for her, and she realised that the venue had made it for his Western palate.

That’s not necessarily a poor outcome. Most cooks and chefs fine tune or adjust to suit the market.

Whether it’s MacDonalds or KFC the menu and flavours vary around the globe.

To my liking or not, for some traditional recipes, first hand experience:
Indian food can be too spicy or hot,
Thai food can be taste too much of coriander and chilli,
Chinese food in all it’s variety can be too sour,
Japanese food tastes too strongly of fish,

The alternative is more traditional and rather boring and insipid English fatty meat with chips or 3 vege.

Fortunately most better cafes and restaurants have broken out of being too traditional, and offer decent fare from any inspiration. For home cooking we can decide how it turns out.

Having lived and travelled around China, most suburban type Chinese restaurants are westernised (bastardised) Cantonese style foods. Cantonese food in Guangdong province is very different as far better in taste and presentation.

Occassionally one will find a more authentic western, central or northern Chinese restaurant in Chinatowns or Asian community areas…where the food in our opinion is far superior.

We always look to see who is eating in an Asian restaurant.

If there are lots of Asians there, it will be good.

If Asians avoid it , then so do we.

When my wife and I attended a conference on the Gold Coast some 25 yeras ago, we went looking for a restaurant for dinner and saw a very fancy one on the main drag. Some of the other attendees were eating there but Asians were not.

We walked around the corner and found an unpretenious Asian restaurant on the second and third floor of a building so we went in. It was packed with Asians and the food was excellent.

The next day, we asked some of the attendees who were in the fancy restaurant about their meals and they all said it was rubbish,

Hell yeah! I had a chicken burger at a KFC in Florida some 20+ years ago, and there was no sign of batter or crumbs. You could get the stuff if you wanted but grilled chicken was a thing. And it was real chicken, not the scrapings off the factory floor.

I do the same. same with Indian.


Works all the time. :wink:

Tokyo, 3 Michelin Stars, one of the top French Restaurants anywhere!

Not within the family budget, but helps to prove the point.
Is the corollary if it’s full of Europeans, avoid it if you can? While not always perfect, Trip Advisor has proven useful locally. When OS a little local knowledge can also go a long way. ( Yes, tongue in cheek, a little bit. Too distracted salivating at the thought of eating out somewhere cheep and cheerful with good food. )

Works all the time.

So if you like authentic chicken tikka marsala do you go where the Scots eat? Och aye laddie that’s hoo Granny use’t make it.

On the SBS TV Food Channel episode of Destination Flavour China Bitesize today, which was recorded in Shanghai, Adam Liaw stated that the best restaurants are the ones that the locals are eating in.